Katherine Stewart-Jones and Cendrine Browne Ski into Top-25 at Famed Holmenkollen World Cup in Norway
OSLO, Nor.—Katherine Stewart-Jones and Cendrine Browne both finished in the top-25 at the
most prestigious distance race of all – a 30-kilometre classic cross-country ski mass start race at the birthplace of the sport in Oslo, Norway.
Taking the start line for the first time at the shrine of Nordic skiing, Stewart-Jones led the Canadian women down Norway’s hallowed Nordic trails that winds its way through forests, up hills and into the City of Oslo. The Chelsea, Que. resident finished in 22nd spot with a time of 1:22:47.8.
“It was epic. I’ve always wanted to do the Holmenkolllen. The cheering was awesome and made it super fun,” said Stewart-Jones, who added the conditions were perfect klister and fast.
“I was skiing at the front of my pack for a lot of the race and got a bit of a gap on the second lap. I ended up getting caught, and just sat behind the group until the big climb where I made a break with a few other girls. My skis were incredible, so I didn’t switch them out. I’m happy with my race.”
Two-time Olympian, Cendrine Browne of Prévost, Que., steadily worked her way through the pack to 25th in the first half of the marathon trek where she stayed for the remainder of the race. Browne’s time of 1:23:15.5 firmed up her best-ever classic-ski result on the World Cup.
“The race went really well. I was very low on energy all week so I didn’t know how my body would respond today,” said Browne. “I had a slow start but managed to work my way back into the top-30. It was really nice skiing with that group. I decided not to switch my skis during the race which helped gain a few positions. I’m really happy and very proud to have achieved my best result at the Holmenkollen.”
Therese Johaug took a bow in front of the Norwegian crowd before crossing the finish line to win her final race on the trails where her illustrious World Cup career began. Johaug clocked a golden time of 1:19:22.8 under glorious blue sky and perfect conditions.
Finland’s Krista Parmakoski was the next best finisher in second place at 1:19:42.2. Sweden’s Jonna Sundling locked up the bronze with a time of 1:19:55.1.
Coming off the World Junior Championships, Jasmine Drolet of Rossland, B.C., was the fourth-fastest athlete under the age of 23. Drolet placed 42nd overall after stopping the clock at 1:26:16.0. Olivia Bouffard-Nesbitt (Morin Heights, Que.) rounded out the Canadian contingent in 48th place with a time of 1:29:42.6.
Recognized as the world’s biggest ski festival, the Holmenkollen traditionally sees more than 50,000 people gather annually on a normal year at the Holmenkollen National Ski Arena where fans can often be seen camping out in the surrounding forest days in advance of the most prestigious race on the Nordic calendar that has been running since 1902.
“That race was epic,” said Browne. “There were so many fans cheering for everyone which gave me energy. I had forgotten what it was like to ski in a World Cup with fans.”
The fans will be back on Sunday, and so too will the world’s best men’s cross-country skiers, for a 50-kilometre classic-ski mass start.
Complete results: https://bit.ly/3KmkZHJ